South India Tour
Destinations Covered: Chennai - Trichy - Madurai - Quilon - Alleppey - Cochin - Coimbatore - Ooty - Mysore – Mahabalipuram Duration: 15 Nights / 16 Days
Day 01- Arrival at Chennai
Arrival at Chennai follows transfer to hotel and spending rest of the day at leisure.
Day 02- Chennai/ Trichy
In the morning you are taken for a brief orientation drive through Chennai. After a quick tour of Chennai city, set out for Tiruchirapalli by train. Tiruchirapalli is also known as Trichy. Arrival follows transfer to hotel.
Day 03- Trichy
Set out on a full day excursion tour to Tanjore. Tanjore is an old temple city with great Hindu sculpture and temples, belonging mainly to the Chola period. It is 58 Km from Trichy. In the main shrine of the Shiva temple, you will find a large Shiva Lingam, the fertility symbol of Shiva. You will also visit the Chola Dam and Pundi Roman Catholic Church en-route. Return back to Trichy and spend the night at the hotel.
Day 04- Trichy/ Madurai
A half day tour to the famous rock fort complex is organized. This complex looms about 300' over the banks of the Cauvery River. A Ganesh temple stands here, and you can have superb views from the top of the fort, looking down on the river island of Srirangam and the temple of Ranganatha Swami. After exploring Trichy, you will be driven to Madurai, late in the afternoon. Upon arrival at Madurai, check in at the hotel.
Day 05- Madurai
For centuries, Madurai has been a center of Dravidian culture and a Tamil heartland. You will find the old town of Madurai very interesting. It adheres round 9 tall Gopurams of the Meenakshi temple. At Madurai you have a lot to explore, like the Hall of 1000 Pillars, the Palace of King Tiramalai (a blend of Hindu and Saracenic architectural styles), the Great Tank and the Gandhi Museum and much more.
Day 06- Madurai/ Quilon (Kollam) (305 Km 6 Hrs)
The sixth day of the tour begins with journey to Quilon, from Madurai. You will be driven through the splendid Cardamom hills and cross into Kerala state, one of the most beautiful states of India, with a cultural heritage going back to thousands of years. This area is quite prosperous with crops like tea and rubber; timber is also an important industry. Upon arrival at Quilon, check in at the hotel.
Day 07- Quilon/ Alleppey/ Cochin
At Quilon, get ready for an experience of life time! Quilon is the starting point of the inland waterways in Kerala. You will love cruising along the inland waterways. The Malabar backwaters, under the lush green leaves of coconut palms, give a heavenly pleasure. The boat journey from Quilon to Alleppey is a real adventure. Set out for Alleppey on the local riverboat - cum - ferry. It is an exotic journey and takes some 8 hours. On reaching Alleppey, you are driven to Cochin, where you check in at the hotel.
Day 08- Cochin
Cochin is called "the Venice of the East'. Cochin has been an important trade center for centuries. So, get ready to explore history and natural beauty together. Take the river craft tour to Fort Cochin, the oldest European settlement in India. You will find the land a mixture of English, Dutch and Portuguese influence. You can also see the Chinese fishing nets, while passing through the Bolgatty Island and explore the St. Francis church and the Jewish Synagogue. Return back to the hotel and spend the night there.
Day 09- Cochin - Coimbatore (183 Km 4 Hrs)
On day ninth of the tour, you will be driven to Coimbatore at the foot of Nilgiri Hills. Upon arrival at Coimbatore, check in at hotel. You can either explore the place on your own or relax as the day is free. Spend the night at the hotel.
Day 10- Coimbatore / Ooty (98 Km 2 Hrs)
You will be driven to Metupalayam railway station, early in the morning to board the Nilgiri Express (train journey availability, subject to local conditions). Journey through the beautiful and scenic Nilgiri and reach Ootacamund or Ooty, as it is known. By afternoon you reach Ooty by afternoon and transfer to hotel. You have afternoon at leisure and can explore the botanical garden, horse-racing, and shopping on Charring Cross, the center of the town. There is an artificial lake at Ooty, which enhances Ooty's natural beauty.
Day 11 Ooty/ Mysore (159 Km 2 ½ Hrs)
After a brief leisure in the morning, you will leave for a short drive through Madumalai National Park (home to a variety of wildlife) to Mysore, "city of fragrance". Upon arrival, check in at the hotel. Remaining day is at leisure.
Day 12- Mysore
After breakfast you will be taken to explore the Maharaja's Palace (It is a treat to watch at night as it dazzles in lights) and the Chamundi Hills (at the top of Chamundi Hill stands an enormous monolithic sculpture of the sacred bull Nandi). You are at leisure in the afternoon and can explore sandalwood arts and crafts of Mysore. Spend the night at hotel.
Day 13- Mysore- Chennai (Shatabdi Exp – 1415 hrs / 2125 hrs), Chennai- Mahabalipuram (58 Km 1 ½ Hrs)
Enjoy your breakfast in the morning and relax! In the afternoon board the Chennai bound train and reach Mahabalipuram by late evening and drive to Mahabalipuram. Check in at the hotel and spend the night. This small place offers ideal opportunity to relax after the journey. Mahabalipuram is well known for its beautiful temples and miles of beaches, perfect for an evening stroll.
Day 14- Mahabalipuram
After your breakfast, you will be taken for an excursion tour of Mahabalipuram town. The main attractions of Mahabalipuram are the cave temples, monolithic temples, the five rathas and the shore temples. Cave Temples were excavated by scooping out the scarp of the hill. The Monolithic Temples are locally known as Rathas. They were executed by chiseling out the exterior face of the boulder. There a total number of 8 monolithic temples in Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram. Five rathas are at one place- the Ganesh Ratha, Valayankuttai Ratha & Pidari Rathas. The Shore temple is a temple complex consisting of two Shiva temples and a carving of Anantasayana Vishnu. After exploring the magnificent architecture of the town, return back to hotel.
Day 15 Mahabalipuram - Chennai (58 Km 1 ½ Hrs)
In the morning you will be driven back to Chennai to catch the flight for your onward journey.